Rift Valley fever claims four in Wajir as panic grips county

Wednesday June 6 2018

Mosquito

Human beings can get Rift Valley fever from the bites of infected mosquitoes. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BRUHAN MAKONG
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Two more people have died of suspected Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Wajir, bringing death toll to four as panic grips the county.

Wajir County’s Chief Health Officer Noor Sheikh Mohamed said the two deaths occurred outside the local referral hospital but have not independently verified the report.
“We cannot exactly confirm the two deaths, but we have sent a team on the ground for confirmation since the area has low network connectivity and the victims died away from our facilities,” Mr Mohamed said.
The first two victims, both male, died on June 4 at the Wajir Referral Hospital.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the RVF is an acute, fever-causing viral disease most commonly observed in domesticated animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels and has the ability to infect and cause illness in humans.

CDC says the disease is caused by RVF virus (RVFV) and was first reported in livestock by veterinary officers in Kenya’s Rift Valley in the early 1910s.

The disease has been reported in Basir and Lakoley areas in Eldas sub-County.

Hundreds of livestock continue to die in the area due to the outbreak with camels and goats the most affected.

In an earlier interview with the Nation, Mr Mohamed said that all the victims had shown symptoms of RVF but they had sent blood samples to the Kenya Medical Research Institute for further tests.

The county health chief said the county will issue a detailed report on the suspected RVF outbreak on Thursday.

He medical personnel have already been deployed in the affected areas to treat victims and contain the disease.